Dear Coaches,

I broke up with my boyfriend of three years this past May. I'm not sure if I'm ready to date yet, but I would like your advice on what to consider and how to know when you're ready to date again?



Mari responds ...

Regarding what to consider, here are a few thoughts to ponder: Consider how fulfilling your life is right this moment and ask yourself if it would be enhanced -- not completed -- but enhanced by the presence of someone else.

Also, give thought to who broke up with whom and why, and especially what relationship issues need to be resolved if you were the one being let go.

Take stock of the following:

• Whether or not you've moved on from any continuous thoughts of your "ex" -- negative or positive

• Whether or not your self-esteem is at its healthiest level for dating

• Whether or not the thought of dating rather soon after a long-term relationship is being driven by societal pressure, loneliness, or any hidden desire to show your "ex" how great you can get along without him, and lastly,

• Whether or not you've prioritized your requirements and needs in a partner and have a rock-hard knowledge of exactly what you want.

Generally speaking, "knowing," is an innate sense that most people possess. You'll know you're ready when it feels right to begin to share yourself with someone again.

Mari Lyles | RCI


Anita responds ...

I congratulate you for acknowledging the reality of the state of your union with your partner. You recognized that it wasn't nourishing your mental and emotional health. Bravo! I congratulate you on claiming your freedom. Wave that flag with pride! Millions of people remain in unhealthy relationships long after it was already over in their mind and heart. Not you. Hooray!

Meeting that forever man can be an easy walk in the park, or a good ol'-fashioned walk to school, crawling uphill … through six feet of snow … for miles … both ways. My advice? Change your perspective: Date to learn who you are and what you need, instead of dating to find that ultimate husband.

Ever been to a grocery store offering food samples? Many packages look great but taste icky and are filled with unhealthy ingredients, doing the body not-so-good. Little bites help tell us what we like and don't like. Dating, like sampling, helps us make better decisions, and when it's time to choose who "goes home in the cart" with you, you'll have made a wonderful, conscious choice! Happy sampling!

Anita Myers | RCI


Lisa responds ...

If you're ambivalent about dating just yet, then take whatever time you need until you're excited again. There is no trophy for speed. Although three years is not an eternity, it is a substantial amount of time together that can bring about a sense of loss when it concludes.

As you consider your next move, focus on how you feel. If the breakup was an evolution of slowly growing apart, then it might cause little disruption. But if it was an emotionally charged trauma that caused heartache, then it might require more time to heal.

Also, you've likely changed in three years, so get acquainted yourself so the new you shows up when you start dating. You want to be able to appreciate prospective candidates without comparing them to your last partner. Give yourself enough distance from memories that could run interference.

In short, take as long as necessary to be able to happily keep your own company and get clear about what you seek next time around. Once you find yourself thinking more about opportunities in the future rather than revisiting the past, you are probably well on your way to getting back "out there."

Lisa Manyoky | RCI


Dr. Jackie responds ...

Let's explore you being "ready" in five specific areas of life:

1. Physical
2. Emotional
3. Financial
4. Legal
5. Spiritual

Are you ready…

Physically: Are you intentional about physical fitness, eating healthfully and ensuring that your personal hygiene the best it can be?

Emotionally: Are you over your past relationships? Do you have trouble with anger, holding grudges, shutting down emotionally or "leaving the scene?" Are you taking the time to learn and practice more resourceful behaviors?

Financially: Are you actively and intentionally resolving any debit you may have and clarified your financial goals for the now and the future?

Legally: Are you actively and intentionally resolving any legal situations that may exist?

Spiritually: Are you a religious/spiritual person? Are you actively and intentionally considering these issues?

Donna, spend time clarifying your personal Vision, Requirements, Needs and Wants. Take all the time it takes to answer the questions: Who am I? What do I want? How do I get what I want? Focus on developing and practicing dating and essential relationship success skills so you can be ready to meet your ideal match and co-create the life and the love life that affirms and esteems your BEST Self!

Dr. Jackie Black | RCI

Author's Bio: 

The first and largest international relationship coach training organization, Relationship Coaching Institute was founded in 1997 to train therapists in relationship coaching for singles and couples. RCI is committed to helping singles and couples develop successful relationships. is a unique and innovative internet resource whose goal is to be the most trusted and reliable internet destination for people of the Baby Boomer Generation.

The objective of Boomer-Living® is to "MAKE A DIFFERENCE" by offering valuable information, guidance, tools, and tips, as well as services and products, designed to improve the quality of life for all Baby Boomers. promotes and highlights the rich and rewarding possibilities available to all members of the Baby Boomer Generation, while strongly supporting the concept of lifelong learning, personal mastery, and self-fulfillment.

Join us as we explore the issues, the challenges, and help seize the opportunities facing baby boomers in the 21st Century.